Despite commendable efforts defensively, the Canadiens were defeated 4-1 by the New York Rangers on Thursday in Montreal, suffering a seventh straight loss.
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Getting a rare start, former CH Jaroslav Halak made 17 saves to win. Joel Armia, with his first goal since April 11, shattered his shutout dreams in the second half of the third period.
The Rangers are going through an excellent streak with three straight wins and four consecutive games with at least one point. In particular, they ended the Carolina Hurricanes' 11-game winning streak last Tuesday.
Unlike recent losses, the Canadian got off to a great start this time around, at least defensively. Much more conscientious in the neutral and defensive zones, the Montreal team limited their opponents to six shots in the first period, retreating to the locker room with a 0-0 tie.
As he has often done in the past, Chris Kreider then hurt the Canadian. He came on a shorthanded breakaway, in the second period, to open the scoring. It was his 18th goal of the campaign.
Braden Schneider and Filip Chytil then hit the target 59 seconds apart before the end of the engagement to put the game out of reach for Martin St-Louis' troops. Chytil completed a brace in an empty cage.
Jake Allen still saved 27 pucks, allowing his club to allow less than four goals for the first time in six outings.
Injured, Brendan Gallagher did not take part in the match. Mike Hoffman was left out, so Joel Armia and Evgenii Dadonov were in the lineup. Defensively, Johnathan Kovacevic returned to the lineup, replacing young Justin Barron.
The Bleu-Blanc-Rouge will play its next game on Saturday when it hosts the St. Louis Blues.